If you’re planning to study abroad, make sure your checklist of things to do includes starting a blog about your experience. Doing so can benefit you now and in the future, and it may even help others, too.
Are you on the fence about starting a study abroad blog? There’s a ton of great benefits — check out these reasons for blogging about your time abroad!
Record Your Experiences for Your Own Sake
Though you might assume your time studying abroad will be unforgettable, it’s important to realize that you’ll be very busy. Between going to classes, exploring another country, trying to stay in touch with friends back home, and possibly even learning another language, life can start to feel like a whirlwind.
The details may start to blend together and before you know it, you’ll find yourself struggling to remember where that great pizza you ate was in Rome or Venice. Don’t let your memories fall through the cracks! By keeping a blog while abroad, you can record all your experiences as they happen.
You don’t have to go crazy writing down every detail of every day. Make time every few days to blog about anything interesting that’s happened or even simply your thoughts at the moment. You may be surprised by how much you change and grow during your time abroad.
When you finally go back home, you’ll be grateful you took the time to keep a blog. If you start to forget some of the details from your study abroad journey, it’ll be easy to rediscover them by simply rereading your blog entries.
Keep Friends and Family Updated on Your Adventures
Aside from keeping a study abroad blog for your own benefit, writing a blog can also be a great way to stay connected with friends and family back home.
It can be difficult to schedule phone calls and Skype chats while you’re abroad. Between the time difference, conflicting schedules, and unreliable internet connections — trying to keep in touch with people on a weekly, let alone daily basis, can prove difficult.
By writing a blog, though, you can keep friends and family in the know. Not only will friends be excited to see what you’ve been up to, but your parents are sure to feel relieved that they can see where you’ve been and how you’ve been.
Show Other Students What to Expect
During your time researching the whole study abroad concept, you’ve no doubt come across blogs kept by other students. Maybe they’ve even helped you by offering tips and advice on what to expect once you arrive in a different country to study.
Starting a blog about your study abroad experience gives you the chance to help others who are thinking about doing the same thing. You can choose to simply write about your own experiences, or you might opt to throw in some more factual posts, such as a checklist of what to bring or how to get a student visa.
No matter what you decide to write about, not all of your posts have to be heavy on the text. You can stick to a few paragraphs for most blog entries and then intersperse pictures or videos that make your study abroad adventure come to life for anyone reading the blog. Either way, your blog will help students prepare to study abroad.
Increase Your Understanding of the Experience
Have you ever noticed that teaching someone about a subject actually helps you understand it even more? Well, it works the same with a blog. As you describe your study abroad experience and try to show your readers what you’ve learned, you’ll get an even deeper understanding of it yourself.
This is especially helpful as you try to improve your understanding of another culture. It might seem foreign to you at first, but as you note the cultural differences and discuss them on your study abroad blog, you might draw some conclusions you never considered before (and you might even make some interesting connections to life back home!).
It can be hard to digest some cultural differences right away. Experiencing them in real time is one thing; describing those experiences and putting some thought into them is another. So your own blog entries just might end up teaching you something!
Improve Your Internet Presence
Surely you’ve heard all about how you need to clean up your online presence before you can get a job after college. If your only online footprint is what you post on social networks, you might need a little help, especially if you want to impress employers.
Considering that only about 10% of American students study abroad, your blog can easily help you stand out. Many employers see value in the study abroad experience. And the value of being able to write well in the professional world can never be overstated. If your blog demonstrates your writing chops, it can give you another advantage in the hiring process.
So, are you ready to start your own blog about the study abroad journey?